People can still practice this harmful treatment. | Photo: Unsplash/Jesper Aggergaard
New Hampshire’s House of Representatives failed to pass a bill banning gay conversion therapy on Tuesday (9 January).
Legislators, including Senator Martha Fuller Clark (D), introduced two bills aimed at protecting LGBTQ youth in the state. However, both the Senate and House versions failed to pass.
The votes went primarily along party lines, with Republicans voting against and Democrats voting for the law.
As it stands, conversion therapy remains legal in the state. This pseudoscientific practice argues psychological and spiritual means can change someone’s sexuality. There is no reliable evidence to support the practice.
Various medical associations, including the American Psycholigical Association, American Medical Association, and more, oppose conversion therapy.
What happens now?
The fight is far from over.
Nine states, Washington D.C., and over two dozen municipalities have banned conversion therapy. New Hampshire can still join those ranks if lawmakers try introducing bills again.
The states include California, Oregon, New Mexico, Illinois, New York, Vermont, and more.
The Associated Press found there was no evidence of conversion therapy being practiced in the state. However, many politicians and activists still view a law banning it to be important.
‘In upholding conversion therapy,’ New Hampshire Democrats said in a statement. ‘New Hampshire Republicans are telling children that who they are is not good enough.’
READ: Speaker Chandler breaks 2 straight ties to keep conversion therapy for minors legal in New Hampshire
Meanwhile, Republican Representative Mark Pearson called the bill ‘unnecessary at best, and quite possibly harmful to youngsters that want an honest conversation’.
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